BG Verkehr / Dienststelle Schiffssicherheit
Brandstwiete 1
20457 Hamburg

Gerhard Wessels
Phone: +49 40 36137-229

Ship's manning

Shipowner’s responsibility for safe manning

According to the German regulation for safe manning a shipowner must man his ship in such a way that the following is ensured:

  • ship safety,
  • safe watchkeeping,
  • compliance with requirements regarding occupational safety and protection of the environment,
  • law and order as well as security on board, and
  • effective communication among the crew.

Shipowner’s safe manning proposal will be verified

Manning of seagoing ships under German flag is regulated by the German regulation for safe manning. This regulation, contains no hard and fast specified number of on board personnel (no standard crew depending on ship size or range of trade). Instead, the shipowner submits a proposal for safe manning of his ship for verification to the competent authority. In Germany the ship safety division of the BG Verkehr is responsible for this verification and the subsequent issuance of the safe manning certificate. 

No difference in safe manning between first and second register

The German regulation for safe manning does not differentiate between the “first register“ (shipping register) and the “second register“ (German International Shipping Register, GIS). Therefore, requirements for safe manning on board German-flagged ships apply to both registers.

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Safe manning certificate also required for small ships

Small commercially used sea-going ships flying the German flag also require a safe manning certificate irrespective of their length. This mostly concerns water taxis, small surveying boats and commercially used recreational craft. Upon application, the Ship Safety Division of BG Verkehr issues safe manning certificates electronically. Read more in our information about safe manning on small ships (in German only).

No safe manning certificate is required for: